ST. PAUL (WCCO) — For some Minnesota Senate Republicans, all bets are off on if or when there will be a government shutdown — literally.

A spokesman for the GOP Senate Caucus says a shutdown office betting pool organized by a single staffer was a “colossally stupid idea.”

A copy of the pool, obtained by WCCO-TV, has a suggested $1 fee to enter, and allows participants to select dates of a possible first and second special session.

It also asks for predictions for a government shutdown, and how long it might last.

“This is an ‘IN-HOUSE” document,” according to the rules of the pool, “intended for staff only-just for fun. Thanks, and good luck”.

“This is disgusting,” said Eliot Seide, the head of AFSCME, Minnesota’s largest state workers union. “Thanks and good luck? Make a bet on how long our people are going to be out of work? What kind of sick people are these?”

Republicans say the pool was never distributed.

“It’s incredibly inappropriate”, said Michael Brodkorb, Executive Assistant to the Senate GOP Caucus, who said neither he nor any Republican leaders were aware of the pool. “It wasn’t distributed. Copies were discarded and no bets were taken.”

Republicans leaders and the Democratic Governor are trying to reach a budget deal by July 1, when the state runs out of money and the government shuts down.

Next week, 36,000 layoff notices will be sent to state workers who will not be paid during a shutdown.

“What kind of game do they think this is to play with 36,000 children, their parents and families?” asked Seide. “They think this is fun and a game? This is unacceptable.”

Comments (49)
  1. paul says:

    Well, by now it should be obvious that there are some politicians who just don’t care what hapens to someone’s salary.

    Hope there aren’t too many error s in tis post, thte walmart ad is in the say

  2. Paul says:

    Okay — now I can see what I’m typing.

    The possibility of losing one’s monthly salary deserves a little more respect from the people who occupy our state’s seat of government.

    1. Citizen says:

      Paul, respect from the GOP clowns in the legislature? Surely, you jest. I heard on the 6 o’clock news that the pool has been shut down. I would love to know which staffer of which legislator started this stunt. Daily, I become more and more disgusted with the legislature and the people who elected these abominations of politicians.

  3. ??? says:

    Waiting on the GOPers to respond saying this is all a WCCO and “liberal” conspiracy. It has to Obama’s fault!

  4. Murph says:

    Heads up Minnesotans.Wisconsinites are getting their new property tax statements from their Republican controlled fascist that have siezed power are raising everyones property values to collect MORE NEW TAXES!!!! No word yet if the ultra rich peoples property taxes went up too!The middle class and poor are getting creamed over there.Expect some more lawsuits and perhaps prison time for the Walkerites across the border didn’t cram this money grab down the rich boys throats too! Look out Minnesota,the GOP has scammed Wisconsin and they probably will do it everywhere else too. As property values continue to drop,Wisconsin’s GOP party say they are increasing by tens of thousands of dollars.Get the tar good and hot and feathers ready,Hell is coming to you from the east!

  5. Citizen says:

    Love, the post, Murph. I guess the troglodytes that support the GOP in Minnesota haven’t gotten it through their heads that the GOP mantra of NO NEW TAXES is strictly targeted to the wealthy 2% with the money that backs the GOP. There will be plenty of new taxes (property) for the middle class. Every time I read a post from some taxpayer saying he supports the GOP because they promised not to raise taxes, I end up LMAO. Who was it said a sucker is born every minute?

  6. CJ says:

    Property taxes as assigned by the COUNTIES. All you morons that think otherwise, please attempt to breathe under water.

    1. Citizen says:

      Of course property taxes are assigned by the county, but with the state of Minnesota cutting LGA to balance the budget, the locals just raise the property taxes. The money flows from the left hand to the right hand. I think the property tax structure is different in Wisconsin. Any ‘sconnies care to post and enlighten this discussion?

      1. Glen says:

        You forgot the Republicans delaying giving the schools the money they said they would give them (part of that 5 bil. deficit) and cutting support further.

    2. rokkitman says:

      CJ, so what? a tax is a tax, except in the minds of GOP geniuses who think that somehow if The Rich don’t pay income tax, all of our bills magically go away.

  7. disgusted says:

    So if state employee’s names and salaries are public information then why can’t the name of this “single staffer” be released? This is absolutely disgusting. My husband is a state employee and this is sick. Betting on people’s livelihood and sufferings is not acceptable and I hope there is more than just a slap on the wrist for this.

    1. Worried ... says:

      another story … had the name at the bottom. I agree it is sick – my husband and I both are State employees ! sucks to be us now …

  8. Citizen says:

    @disgusted. Yes, I agree the name should be public. What I find even more disturbing is that this sort of stupidity even arose in the brain of a GOP staffer. Tells us a lot about what the GOP thinks of us worker bees, doesn’t it. Also, tells about the quality of the GOP staff!

    1. sandwood19 says:

      It shows me that they really don’t have enough to do. Like little children, when bored they play. If they have the time to play then they have time to get to work on the problem at hand. Making jokes at others expense is an ungodly way to behave. So, that right there tells me where thier minds are.

  9. Kendall says:

    Here is a solution to the problem: give the gov his requested tax hike with enough cuts to provide a surplus in coming years. Put a time limit on hike that would go away once surplus started. Give back the money to the people that paid the taxes when a surplus warrented. Every politician would have met their goals. Reagon did this in as California Governor and it worked.

  10. pss says:

    tipical rebublican cr%p playing with the Great State of Minnesota Employees minds and hearts the legislators SHOULD NOT BE PAID FOR THE SPECIAL SESSION They sc$#%wed around the whole regular session and completed NOTHING!!!

  11. I'm not saying I'm just saying says:

    @murph, republicans are doing the tough work, not taking the easy way out. If cities and counties don’t to raise property taxes they need to cut also. A lot of cities don’t even get LGA or it is a very small part of their budget. In MPLS if they get LGA cut, they’ll raise your property taxes but’ll keep getting new fountains, parks, theatres, trees and artwork. Absolutely essential for a functioning city, of course.

    @PSS, couldn’t expect much of an argument from someone who types like a 3rd grader. If you knew what you were talking about you would know that 1) legislature met all the obligations, passing a balanced budget on time THAT WAS THE LARGEST BUDGET IN MN HISTORY. 2) Legislators get year round pay, idiot.

    1. GOP is a CULT says:

      @I’m not saying I’m just saying…. So Minneapolis should close all the parks, close the theatres, shut down the art institute and chop down all the trees? Now if you’re done being stupid, lets look at the real costs that the city has to pay. All cities run on gas, police, fire, snow removal, school buses, gas has gone up what 70-80% over the last 2 years. No real reason for this other than the greed of the top 2%. Another large cost for cities is health insurance, what has that gone up over the last 2 years 25-30%. Again no real reason for this increase except the greed of the top 2%. Amazingly you haven’t heard the PART TIME GOPers in St. Paul vote to raise their share of the state health insurance. Kind of like “Animal Farm” everyone has to pay more or do with less except the pigs.

      “THAT WAS THE LARGEST BUDGET IN MN HISTORY.” … Just amazes me that conservatives consider the debt left by Pawlenty as an increase in spending. It’s not if you remove the Republican debt from the budget you will find that the budget the GOP passed is actually a 15% decrease over the last budget.

      ” @#2 Legislators get year round pay” Realty check shows that statement to be false. The legislators consider their Per-Diem as part of their pay. This is their tax free lunch money that they will get during a special session. Also out state legislators will get their lodging expense. Now while they can get this money when not in session it is NOT automatic. So before you call someone an idiot make sure you’re not being stupid.

      1. Citizen says:

        @GOP is a Cult. Excellent post. Doubtful though, that the the GOP apologists will get the message.

        1. GOP is a CULT says:

          Thanks Citizen I don’t expect the CULT members to change.

      2. rokkitman says:

        Excellent post! …and one more thing. Don’t be fooled by GOP ‘largest budget’ complaints. The 2008-09 budget was larger than the GOP proposed budget, and the 2010-2011 budget was larger if adjusted for inflation and population growth. Of course, inflation and population growth don’t exist in Republican Fantasy World.

  12. tom says:

    i think it is kinda funny, who in their work places don’t have a pool of some kind. all you libs need to get real, quit looking for the handout. You are not entitled to anything, if anything, the government unions need to go away. and that so called lush of a governor needs to take and compromise instead of looking for a credit card with no limit like obummer has done to this country.

    1. GOP is a CULT says:

      @tom “i think it is kinda funny, who in their work places don’t have a pool of some kind”

      Really tom well tell you what to do. Next time you go to work you start a pool on who will be the next person laid off. See how long you have a job.

  13. SGTJohn says:

    I think I have a plan to make both sides happy. The republicans won a big majority last election, promising not to raise taxes and to reduce state spending. I say let’s just let them have their way, pass the budget they proposed, and see what happens between now and the next election. If they succeed, great, if not, vote them out. This way, neither side can blame the other come election time that something did or didn’t get done because someone wouldn’t compromise. If things go to heck, the Dems would take over the state government in 2012, and with Dayton still here, they could pass whatever they wanted and reverse the changes anyway. On the other hand, if the republican budget succeeds, all the chicken littles could finally shut up about the sky falling if taxes aren’t raised and spending is cut. Doesn’t this sound reasonable? Oh, by the way, I have been a democrat since before most of you were born, back before we became nutty.

  14. Citizen says:

    Listen, Sarge. Both sides are nutty. The Rethuglicans knew Dayton wouldn’t sign the budget they sent, but they sent it anyway. Dayton was elected to block a purely Rethuglican agenda, so he has a mandate from the voters, too. Guess the voters don’t know what they want, do they? In other words, compromise and working together is what the voters want–neither side is superior to the other. Now, let’s see everyone act like adults and figure out a compromise budget. Work place pools (gambling) are in very poor taste no matter where they arise.

    1. SGTJohn says:

      Now citizen, if we are to act like adults, calling the other side “Rethuglicans” hardly helps matters any. Also, I’m not sure Dayton was elected to block a pure republican agenda, as the GOP win was not necessarily in the bag. As far as what the voters want, I think I can sum it up. They are sick of the government spending too much of the citizens money on waste and unnecessary programs, and want it stopped, so our kids and grandkids aren’t stuck with the bills that are not being paid as we go. It’s like your kid inheriting your credit card debt and nothing else. At the same time, they don’t want to cut TOO much, and would like some stopgap to avoid people starving in the streets, thus the Dayton victory.

      1. GOP is a CULT says:

        @SGTJohn….The only Governor to leave this state with a credit card debt was GOP cult leader Tim Pawlenty.
        Freshman cult senator Dave Thompson ran on cutting spending. Then TOOK the Maximum per- Diem allowed. So you tell me did he lie, misrepresent , or is he just a lawyer that found a loop hole . You tell me sarge are you too stupid to know when you are being lied to.

        1. SGTJohn says:

          Where is all this vitriol coming from? Why is it that when a person attempts to have civil discourse, someone ends up calling you evil or stupid or a socalist? Geez people, settle down and learn some manners.

          1. Citizen says:

            Sarge, a lot of the vitriol is coming from workers who are being demonized and attacked by the GOP. This is no big secret. The GOP is out to disenfranchise thousands upon thousands of public employees and teachers and break the unions. There is also an agenda to privatize all education in the U.S. There is no limit on the lies being fed to the voters to get this agenda in place. In the states where the GOP has won governorships, the attack on workers is in full sway. The GOP is attempting to turn back the clock on wages and the safety net for the American workers who built the wealth of this great country with their labor. The wealthy don’t create wealth–only the farmers and laborers and those of this class. Please don’t believe the GOP lies!

            1. SGTJohn says:

              I hear what you are saying, but actually I was referring to “GOP is a Cult” labeling me as being too stupid to know when I was being lied to. NBD, he’s probably 14 years old on his mom’s computer anyway.

              1. GOP is a CULT says:

                Sarg I didn’t label you, I posed a question to you. However instead of answering the question like a man you chose to claim victim status. This is the second time you pulled the adult card in a post. First to Citizen and now to me, I can only guess that this is a status you hope to obtain someday. However I hold out very little hope for you.

                1. SGTJohn says:

                  Ah, you misrepresent my responses. First, you say you posed a question to me. It was plainly in the form of an insult. I suppose the manly response to this would be to say, no, dumbas*, I am not too stupid. Second, Citizen brought up the fact that the two sides cannot act like adults, but I commented that demonizing the opponents with name calling isn’t helping the cause. To make you happy, and help you to fully fathom my responses to your certain insults in the future, I’ll respond “I know you are, but what am I?” Now, go play warcraft with your buddies and let the grown ups talk.

      2. Citizen says:

        Sorry, Sarge, but you are brainwashed by Rethuglican spin that wants us to believe that the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world, does not have enough money to take care of the poorest, most needy of its citizens who were workers and helped build that wealth–tangible wealth. Did you know that just one of the hedgers of the financial meltdown made $2.4 million AN HOUR? And paid a lot less in taxes than you do. Can’t teach compassion to a ReTHUGlican.

  15. Shut it down says:

    Minnesota government SPENDS TOO MUCH MONEY. A budge of 34 BILLION DOLLARS?!?!?!?!? Are you kidding?!?!?! That is totally ridiculous.

    Shut the government down. Now.

  16. Gov workers says:

    Government is not an employment program. The fact you work for government shows you have capitulated to the lowest common denominator. My only problem is that the government workers get back pay for time not working That is simply not logical. I can only imagine how the progressive posters live their lives. Poor choices, no personal responsibility and an entitlement mentality fit for the EU. At this point government workers and the whole structure are outright disgusting. Cut the government workforce and budget by 60% where the employees actually work as hard as the private sector and I would think differently. The very notion that the people who pay for government don’t use the services other than the most basic ones (the 40% left over) is truly disgusting.

    1. Citizen says:

      @Gov workers. A previous poster on this website wrote this:
      Don’t forget how businesses steal from their employees when they don’t fund their retirement plans adequately. Or how they steal from their employees when they make employees pay for all of their health benefits with no increase in pay to help them do it. Or how American companies bring illegals in by the bus load to drive labor costs down. Or how corporations steal from their employees by bringing in H1B Visa employees. Or how corporations steal FROM ALL OF US by not paying their fair share in taxes. Or how the rich steal from the middle class by only paying Social Security on the first $120,000 or so in income even though they may make many, many, many millions each year in salary.”
      Yet another recent post: “Remember when teachers, city, county, state and federal employees crashed the stock market, or when public employees wiped out half of everybody’s 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, moved most of the good paying private jobs overseas and paid no taxes? Yeah, me neither.”
      I’ve worked both public and private jobs, and I can tell you I worked the hardest in my government job.

    2. single mom of 3 that happens to be a state worker says:

      What do you do for a living? I’ve got 3 kids to take care of by myself and I do my best to provide for them as much as possible.

      1. Les Johnson says:

        Where is their father? Or don’t you know…

  17. Rich says:

    Shut the government down ! Those sluggs have had it to good for to long ! 34 billion ? Are you kidding me !

    1. Hard working mother says:

      You have no idea what you are talking about. Slug! Would you like to come deal with rapists, murders,and pedophiles in the system, those incarcerated or civilly committed? Or shall we open the gates and free them all back to the community – including yours? How about the DOT, do you want roads to drive on, bridges standing? The DNR maybe should go away, you don’t like forests and lakes? Every state worker contributes back to the private sector buying goods and services every day. State workers have it so good? When? With no raises, insurance increases and cost of living increases? You should know what you are talking about before you going opening your mouth.

  18. jan says:

    Money is being wasted. For example I got a mailing from the U of M. There were 3 pages in it that would have easily fit into a regular sized envelope and would have cost 44 cents postage. Instead, they put it in a large manilla envelope and the postage was over one dollar. This is the tip of the iceberg. This was a mass mailing. How many of these things are being done all the time and how much money could be saved? Think about it

  19. Matt says:

    whoever started this pool and took part in it should be charged with a crime for wasting tax player’s money. Clearly this was done on the clock.

    1. David J. Conklin says:

      At the GOP HQ–not state office employee.

  20. Victim Du Jour says:

    Look at some of the Stupid things people are being charged crime for.

    Democrats and their Oprah Winfrey pet projects.

    1. GOP is a CULT says:

      You mean like raping children, yes they must be taking all the fun away from being a GOP cult member.

  21. Disgusted says:

    What happened to the GOP’s platform of “creating jobs” in Minnesota. And now they want to take bets as to when more Minnesotans go back to work all because THEY CANNOT DO THEIR OWN JOBS? This is absolutely disgusting and revolting to me. This is one time I am nearly ashamed to be a Minnesotan. Those who elected these “officials” who DO NOT hold them accountable for this action should also be ashamed. It is time we show them we are onto their smoke and mirrors and we expect ACTION. Leadership is ACTION, NOT POSITION. Let’s make sure they know that we’re NOT going to take this anymore! Let’s make sure they put MINNESOTANS BACK TO WORK instead of placing bets as to when they can do they jobs they were elected to do!

  22. Kim says:

    I can’t afford this layoff and shutdown. Do your jobs, pass a budget, and save my job while you are at it, please.

  23. Les Johnson says:

    Michael Brodkorb was one of my childhood best friends. We were next door neighbors in elementary school.

    He is one of the biggest liars in the whole group.

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